Government announces new power tender for 2019 and projects that prices will remain low


A new power tender for distributors, the first in the current government, prepares the government for 2019. This was confirmed yesterday by Energy Minister Susana Jiménez, who indicated that auction bidders will start supplying power in 2025, complying with the new terms and conditions related to these auctions in the reform approved in 2015.

"For the coming year, it is expected to launch a tender to meet regulated customers by the end of the year.As the law requires it to be in advance of five years, it means that they will be provided from the year 2025" , said the minister, who participated in a series of activities yesterday in Antofagasta.

"Studies are being carried out and the fact that it will be done (the announcement) in another year will also allow us to have more information in view of the demand, which is associated with a higher economic growth, but also the behavior of regulated customers and migration of regulated customers to free customers, "the official said, adding that therefore the amount of energy to be tendered will be known closer to the bidding stages.

Relevance for the sector

This type of process attracts the interest of all the local generating park, since it allows companies to access long-term contracts at known prices, which, in turn, enables generation projects and gives access to financing. In 2015, these went from being organized by the companies of the sector to the National Energy Commission.

Earlier this month, CNE's new executive secretary, José Venegas, indicated that the entity could launch a tender until the end of 2019 and that in that case it would be reduced in terms of quantity of energy, given the changes in demand and free transfer to regulated customers that are occurring.

The authority also commented that bid prices will reflect the changes that are occurring in the market, in relation to the lower cost of these technologies, given their greater degree of maturity.

"What we have seen is a very considerable decline associated with technology, so we should expect low prices in the sense that these technologies have matured and reduced their costs internationally," Jiménez said.

However, the minister said that these values ​​will not necessarily be inferior to those of the last process (see infographic), since the market presents changes.

"Prices will not necessarily be lower than the last competition, but we are talking about very different ranges from those years ago when it was very difficult to get projects and they were much longer projects.

We now have renewable technologies with less difficulty in obtaining licenses, more limited construction periods and enormous potential. I see a very positive scenario for the development of our increasingly renewable matrix and a step towards decarbonization, "he added.

Lastly, he referred to the forthcoming commissioning of the Engie Infrastructure Energética Mejillones coal-fired power plant, which occurs in the middle of the decarbonization plan. In that regard, it indicated that it was an earlier undertaking and reflected different market conditions.


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